Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Mayor Rahm gives Cubs a tax break—team says thanks by losing five games in a row

Posted By on 08.07.13 at 02:35 PM

Cubs pitcher Edwin Jackson
  • AP Photo/Matt Slocum
  • Cubs pitcher Edwin Jackson
With last week's news that the Cubs and Mayor Emanuel have settled on the all-important tax break part of the Wrigley Field project, all that remains of this two-year situation comedy is the obligatory ribbon-cutting ceremony.

That's where Mayor Emanuel shows up—various dignataries and former Cubs in tow—to take all the credit.

As opposed to the pounding, which local alderman Tom Tunney's been absorbing from sports columnists and talk show hosts on behalf of the mayor.

As if this this impasse was all about appeasing Tunney and his constituents and not about Mayor Emanuel exacting something—anything—from the Ricketts in exchange for letting them stick a video scoreboard in right field and a see-through sign in left.

Also, they get to build a hotel across the street from the ballpark. And they'll be able to add a bunch of other stuff that will bring in more money that Cubs fans—delusional as always—have convinced themselves will be used to buy the best players they need to win the World Series.

The Cubs celebrated the passage of the deal by going out and losing five games in a row and closing in on Milwaukee in the race for last place. As you can see, being delusional comes in handy for Cubs fans.

The most ironic part of the deal is that Mayor Emanuel's agreed to let the Cubs take advantage of a tax break intended for property owners who are preserving landmarks. Even though the Cubs, as I said, are attaching that video contraption to iconic Wrigley—a very unpreservationlike thing to do.

Nonetheless, I must confess that this deal's not so bad, as sports deal go in this town. And so I must pause to give Mayor Emanuel a pat on the back for . . .

I don't know—just every now and then I feel I should say something nice about him in case he's getting low self-esteem from all the critical stuff I write about him.

Put it this way—at least the Cubs will be paying something in property taxes. Unlike the White Sox, who have been property-tax exempt, and proud of it, for over two decades.

Or DePaul University, which will eventually get a property tax-free basketball arena—among other things—courtesy of an exceedingly generous handout from our mayor and city council.

Heckuva job on the oversight, aldermen.

But back to the Cubs and their ribbon-cutting ceremony, whenever that will be.

It will undoubtedly require the mayor to venture into the world of sports—always a dangerous excursion, given that the mayor apparently knows nothing about the topic.

I've always urged Mayor Emanuel to' fess up and admit he's not into sports, though he's happy that so many other people are happy when the local team wins.

But does he take my advice? Noooooo.

Instead, he feels compelled to pretend that he really cares about the Cubs, Sox, Bulls, Hawks and Bears. Like he feels compelled to pretend he really cares about the kids in—pick any west or south side neighborhood—whose schools he's closing and teachers he's firing.

Thus, he managed to make the royal screw up where he implied that Bobby Hull—the greatest Blackhawk ever—was no longer with us to enjoy the recent Stanley Cup triumph.

So, Mayor Emanuel, in case you want to mention great Cubs of yore, it's okay to say Ron Santo is looking down with happiness on the property tax break the Cubs are getting.

The beloved radio announcer and third baseman died in 2010. But, please, try not to call him Santos—as you have done in the past.

You're probably mixing him up with Miriam Santos, the former city treasurer. It's an easy mistake—I'm sure other people make it all the time.

Go Cubs!

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